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When do students decide to study medicine, and by whom are they influenced in making their decisions? When and why do they decide to specialize in a particular branch of medicine? When and how do they begin to think of themselves as doctors? What type of patients do various kinds of student-physicians prefer? When and how does the student-physician become adjusted to the lack of certainties in medicine? What are the processes of change in a teaching program, particularly in an experimental program?
These studies by the Bureau of Applied Social Research of Columbia University exemplify a new approach to the understanding of the processes of making a doctor. The contributions are based upon data from several medical schools, especially the experience of the Comprehensive Care and Teaching Program at Cornell University Medical College and the New York Hospital.